Located about 48 kilometers (30 miles) east of Cleveland, Ohio, Fairport Harbor is a quaint lakeside village that offers a wide range of water-related sports and activities and one of the best beaches on Lake Erie.
Fairport Harbor has a humid continental climate characterized by warm humid summers and cold winters. Temperatures in Fairport Harbor range from an average high of 22°C (72°F) in July and August to an average low of -2°C (28°F) in January. Precipitation ranges from an average low of less than five centimeters (two inches) in February to an average high of about 10 centimeters (four inches) in September. Humidity levels are fairly constant, reaching a high of about 88% in August and September and falling to under 80% in April. Snow comes to Fairport Harbor from October through April, with as much as 37 centimeters (14.5 inches) falling in December and January.
The 21-acre Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park is one of the most popular places to enjoy Lake Erie. The park is open throughout the year from sunrise to just after sunset. A lifeguard is on duty, and a concession stand is open from June until Labor Day depending on the weather. In addition to picnicking, swimming, and generally enjoying the outdoors, Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park has an Adventure Camp for kids, sailing and boating camps, and a kayak rental service. The park hosts a rubber-band airplane fly-in, a Pirate Triathlon, and a Kayak Triathlon. Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park Beach offers opportunities for boating, sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. Waterfront camps and special beach programs and festivals add to the variety of activities available at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park.
The Fairport Harbor Historical Society Marine Museum and Lighthouse Tower is located next to the Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park and Beach. The 1871 lighthouse has an 18.3-meter (60-foot) spiral staircase leading to the top lookout. The museum displays lighthouse lenses, artifacts from Native American settlements along the Grand River, and exhibits illustrating life on the Great Lakes. The museum is from just before Memorial Day through late September on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays from 1pm until 6pm. Special tours can be arranged by appointment.
The population of Fairport Harbor has a strong Finnish heritage. Twenty-five immigrants from Finland first arrived in 1885, founding the first Finnish settlement. By 1900, there were 700 Finns in Fairport Harbor. The Finnish Heritage Museum proudly showcases that heritage. With a coffee/gift shop and rotating exhibits, this Fairport Harbor museum is open from Memorial Day through mid-November on Saturday from 9am until 3pm and on Sunday from 1pm until 4pm. It is also open through mid-December on Wednesdays from 1pm until 4pm. The exhibits at Fairport Harbor's Finnish Heritage Museum illustrate the journey from Finland to North America and the lives of Finnish-Americans with items from homes, farms, and businesses. These include textiles, kitchenware, decorative arts, handmade tools, toys, furniture, and many other objects common to Finnish life in Fairport Harbor over the years.
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